Fat Tire Belgian Style Ale | New Belgium Brewing

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Fat Tire Belgian Style AleFat Tire Belgian Style Ale
9,018 Ratings
Fat Tire Belgian Style AleFat Tire Belgian Style Ale

Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
After a trip to Europe, New Belgium’s co-founder returned to Colorado from Belgium with a handful of ingredients and an idea. Two years later, Fat Tire – named in honor of his inspired bike ride across the Belgian countryside – pedaled its way into the hearts of beer drinkers. Now considered an iconic centerpiece of the craft beer movement, Fat Tire represents the American spirit of craft brewing ingenuity and an irresistible imagination that reminds us all to rediscover our playful side.

Fat Tire’s unique flavor profile originates from the late 1930s, when local Belgian breweries aimed to satisfy the tastes of visiting British soldiers. English floral hops, subtle malt sweetness and spicy, fruity notes from Belgian yeast made for a balanced yet magical combination. These same characteristics are at the heart of Fat Tire. Classified as an Ameri-Belgo style ale by the revered Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup competitions, Fat Tire blends a fine malt presence, fresh herbal hop balance and a touch of fruity yeast to offer drinkers everywhere a timeless craft beer experience with a rare blend of balance and complexity.

Added by kbub6f on 10-07-2000

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 9,018 |  Reviews: 2,096
Photo of Prufrock
3.3/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle into a pilsner.

clear orange amber with half an inch of white head that leaves a ton of stringy thin lace.

caramel and toasted malt aroma. sweet, but not exceedingly so.

toasted malt sweetness to start, then a cleansing hop bitterness leading to a very clean finish. medium-light mouthfeel with a medium-high carbonation. easily drinkable, but the malt character is lacking slightly in complexity; just a light, bready maltiness with little else to offer. enjoyable, then forgettable.

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Photo of IntriqKen
3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served as a crystal clear reddish gold with very little head, but respectable lacing as it melted.
Aroma is toasted malt and floral with a touch of biscuits.
Taste is again biscuit malt with floral undertones and very light hops.
Mouthfeel is rich and creamy
Aftertaste of perfume and floral.
I enjoyed this much more on tap than in the bottle. More biscuit comes through in the toasted malts and the aftertaste seems much cleaner...fresher....more thirst quenching.

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Photo of StoutHearted
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had a bottle over the weekend: It poured thin, with an amber color with virtually no head, but a little lacy foam resting on top. MY first impression based upon looks was that it's a fancy ale. Drink with your pinkie up! The aroma was a combination of citrus and hazelnut, and tasted the same. Tried as I might, I couldn't detect much more in terms of flavor.The flavor wasn't full bodied, however, and I found this beer kind of weak. Slight hoppiness, but nothing distinctive. The carbonation was very noticeable. It didn't get much sweetness, but did notice a crispness that remained throughout drinking it. I wouldn't rush to get another bottle, but I would be curious to see if it tastes different on draft.

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Photo of Phocion
3.17/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours a dark amber with a light head that quickly settles, leaving a thin lacing.

Definite roasted malt/nutty smell, with a bit of caramel and a little fruity undertone, maybe apple. Hops are barely detectable.

Malty and sweet. Nutty, caramel and molasses, and just a tad citrusy. Very well-balanced, hops and alcohol taste aren't really even detectable.Tart, but not bitter.

Light to medium-bodied. Nice creamy feel at first, but then too watery.

Easily drinkable since it's so light. Average ABV and no hops taste would make this a good session beer, but there's little that stands out.

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Photo of ojiikun
3.69/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a standard pint glass. Medium-light amber and clear as they come. Ferocious head from start to finish.

Smells immediately of belgian yeast and eventually fades to green herbs by mid-bottle. Near the end cocoa would creep in, riding on the bready yeast. Taste is very mild with grapefruit-like hops then hints of malt that certainly finish on the note of toasted nuts. Aftertaste can border on pleasantly tart, especially after big sips.

Perfectly clean on the tongue, no sticky situations here! Very drinkable at any temperature, though it lacks the usual belgian approach to masking alcohol with intense fruit flavours.

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Photo of trep
4.08/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Crystal clear golden honey body with a white froth of a head similar to seafoam. Looks pretty good from here.

Some musty earthy malt, caramel, and a rich chocolate and hazelnut aroma that reminds me of Nutella...mmm.

Tastes just like it smells. Initially an earthy hop bitterness, then malt sweetness that slowly fades to a creamy oatmeal finish.

Mouthfeel is thin-medium, and it doesn't hurt it at all. Carbonation is spot on though. Super-easy drinking as well. This is my definition of a perfect session beer.

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Photo of beerphilosopher
3.17/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

My wife loves this ale. Can't really get it any closer than St. Louis ... anyway, this one is from a 12oz bottle, poured into a pint glass. Pours a glowing amber color, with a substantial white head. Intricate lacing in the glass. Nose is warm malt, with hints of dough and spices. Palate is on the sweeter side; a good balance of sweet malts and bittering hops. This beer has a candy-like character to it that's nice as well ... like a toffee. Mouthfeel is medium/light, and finishes sweeter than drier. I like Fat Tire ... I can get it at Cardinals games, for one. A very good amber style ale ... a style I'm usually not real keen on.

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Photo of guitarmage
3.55/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear pale amber, nice bubbles rising to the top. Ample, foamy white head with good retention and sticky lacing.

Smell: Very distinct, yeasty and bready, toasted grain and hardly any hoppy smell.

Taste: Burnt coffee, biscuity finish, very mild hops, notes of molasses, roasted malt.

Mouthfeel: Solid and crisp, medium carbonation, very clean.

Drinkability: This beer very drinkable and very distinct at the same time. Very lacking in hops for the amber ale style, but it doesn't bother me, it's very drinkable and refreshing. Strangely biscuity and food tasting, almost like a chicken gravy.

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Photo of barleynvinebrew
4.32/5  rDev +20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed this beer very much. It had a hint of a chocolate or fudge taste, which made it very drinkable. It did not, in my opinion, have alot of after taste.

The beer is really good with just about any food. I have tried the beer with pizza, brautwurst, and even seafood.

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Photo of ommegangpbr
3.92/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Quite a bit more enjoyable than I was anticipating as I tend not to dig amber/red ales. Not quite as amber or red as it could or should be.
Smells like... peanut butter! or a peanut butter fudge candy or some such animal. Mouthfeel is a bit abrasive or chalky. I think Skinny Dip is basically this, but with more water. A little bit fruity. Simple.

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Photo of scooter231
3.81/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Looks like a redder, meatier Skinny Dip. Nose is like peanut butter fudge. Definitely peanuty. Taste is also much like Skinny Dip- bready, biscuity, slightly peanuty, sliiightly fruity- apricots, perhaps. The beers are very similar. Mouthfeel is thick and chewy, not as dry. This one is a little less drinkable, as it's a bit heavier, and I think I'd prefer this with a meal. Still, not shabby.

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Photo of petemorris
3.29/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a beautifully clear golden amber, a little on the pale side perhaps, but with a nice thick foamy head. While the view is enticing, the aroma is underwhelming. If one really sticks your nose in there and takes a big whiff, you get the sweet, biscuity malt you would expect. Much the same can be said of the flavor, rather dry for the style, and more in a disappointingly bland way than a pleasantly drinkable one. While I can't say I didn't enjoy drinking this beer, I was happy to finish it and follow up with a more flavorful version of the style: my L.A. local Angel City Ale.

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Photo of kdmorse
3.21/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not a day goes by that I don't dream of Burt Reynolds donning his cowboy hat and running blocker for a truck full of Fat Tire in "Smoky and the Bandit III." Of course, Sally Field wouldn't do. Maybe Jessica Alba?

On a more serious note...

Auburn brew topped with 2 fingers of white head. As head starts to fade, leaves rocky lacing (impressive for an amber). Not much to smell: some caramel malt, but have to seek it out. Tastes are muted too. Enjoyable and simple, but not much there. Can't pick up too much to comment on. Easy and light in the mouth. Very drinkable. Could go all night, but would prefer to move on to a more interesting beer.

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Photo of sullysbeer
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma: Clean Malt Sweetness with a Light Hop Aroma.

Appearance: Very Clear, Amber/Copper Color. White thin Head Retention

Flavor: Malty Sweet with a hint of Biscuit, Balanced with a light Piney Hop Bitterness. Has a Slight Hint of Specialty Malt, Maybe a High Lovibond Caramel Malt or a Slight Hint of Maybe Biscuit Malt. Had a Very slight Vegetal flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium to Medium-Light. This Batch Seems a Little Dryer than Ones I Have Had Before, Maybe the Mash Temperatures were just a tad lower Than Usual.

Overall Impression: Very Crisp Easy Drinking Malt Orientated Beer. I Thought this Beer Would Have Been a Little Sweeter But Tends To Be On the Dryer Side Than Other Fat Tires I've Had. I was a Little Disappointed in this Beer. This Beer is the Beer I drink When We Take Trips out to Snowmass, Colorado to go Snowboarding. I Remember This Beer as a Little Sweeter With a Slight Hint of Chocolate or a Little More Biscuit Malt. But, Its Been a While Since I Had a Fat Tire. This Beer was Still Very Good.

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Photo of Golden2wenty1
3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Single brought back from Lake Havasu City, AZ over Spring Break.

Pours a peachy-amber with a few fingers of light cream foam. Nose is musty and toasty, with grain husk and some caramelized sugars. Taste continues with a biscuity maltedness, a hearty dose of herbal hops and a light fruity finish with a spicy kick. Mouthfeel is medium. A unique amber ale, well-balanced between malt and hop. Quite sessionable.

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Photo of Bumpon10s
3.3/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Well, well, well. Although I've had Fat Tire before, in CO as a matter of fact, I wanted to wait until I had it in Chicago to review it.

A - A little light for an amber, and considerably carbonated. A little bit of a head, perhaps about half of what you'd see on a lager beer.

S - Bready. As it says, biscuity and malty. very simple, not much to search for here.

T - Seems much simpler that previous times I have had it. Again, a little bready, a fermented taste almost from a yeast strain. Tastes more like an MGD than an amber.

M - Very crisp and I guess, refreshing. Perhaps the better part of this beer.

D - At first, you are satisfied with a sip or two but quickly grows on you to want 2 or perhaps 3.

Not a bad beer, but nothing to write home about.

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Photo of maristfan
3.76/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Burnt orange color from the tap, I enjoyed it very much. Drinkable but it lacked a smell that should acompany such a tasty colorful beer. Maybe I had a stuffed nose. The best part is the taste, fine quality ingredients, not too strong, nor too weak. It's not something to write home to mom about but a should not be passed up on your beer tour.

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Photo of MeLikeBeer
3.45/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap in St. Louis, it's a shame it's not available in more places further North and East. Looks a golden-brown in the glass, smells slightly sweet (citrus). Reminds me of a Summit IPA.
Not heavily carbonated, very little foam.
Taste is a toasted caramel flavor with a little hop bitterness. Not much, though. Very smooth on the palate and not much of an aftertaste. I've only had this in a bottle previously, and it is definitely better on tap.

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Photo of mentor
4.1/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presented partly cloudy orange-rust with a thin layer of light-tan head at the NBB tasting room in the brewery. Smells biscuity with a touch of citrus. Caramel and toast.

Tastes very bready doughy with biscuit and caramel malts. Some toasted character and a bit of a citrus finish that I take to be hops. Not quite grapefruit, but not quite orange either. Md light body and a touch dextrinous in the mouth. Modest carbonation. Simple, tasty, and unique. Just an all around nice beer. Much better fresh at the brewery than from a store-bought bottle.

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Photo of ypsifly
4.13/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber with a label that sez Spring 2006 Chicago Inaugural and a best before date of 23Jun06 jetted on the side. poured into a pint glass.

Clear copper with two fingers of off white. Very good retention with plenty of wispy ringed lace.

The nose is a nice balance of toasty malts and caramel with just enough flowers and spice from the hops. Well rounded aromas.

The taste follows along the same lines but with just a bit more toast with the caramel and just the right enough hop bite for balance and a nice dry finish. Slightly nutty in the middle. Again, well rounded and tasty.

Nice moderate mouth that finishes clean. A very drinkable Amber that can please those new to craft beer as well as those who have been drinking crafts for years. I understand and appreciate why this beer has such a loyal following.

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Photo of marcobrau
3.51/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The only other Fat Tire I've had before this one, was one "bootlegged" to Illinois. I will agree with some of the other reviewers in that this is a good beer when fresh. The nose is appealing with an exagerated malt aroma and a bit of toasted marshmallow; which gets me thinking of this as a great campfire beer. As very carbonated beer, I give my second pour of the bomber a good pour to release the bubbles, creating a very smooth mouthfeel and lasting head bright white foam. A medium bodied beer, Fat Tire is amber ale that accents its malt flavors more than the hops. This is definitely a beer for "malt heads" but not so much as to put off the newbie micro drinker. Definitely a good "beginners" craft beer with enough tasty toasted and caramelly maltiness to make this experience satisfactory, but a little too malty-sweet for me to enjoy more than a couple.

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Photo of dedrinker
3.51/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I hear countless requests to carry this beer at the grocery store I work in, so when I first tried it - a "medium-everything" amber, I was not surprised. Very drinkable, very fresh (its chief strength) but surely nothing to get excited about for those who have been around the beer block a few times. This is a great everyday beer for casual consumption, but aside from its young, fresh character, not a single thing stood out but its ordinariness. This beer is perhaps one of the best introductions to the American craft beer category for the uninitiated. Don't get me wrong - I liked it.

Four Years Later: My original review still holds. I have picked up on the subtle mingling of toasted malt flavor with a clean dry finish from a dusting of sufficient hops for the purpose, but this remains a well crafted middle of the road taste experience. One of the best examples of a middle of the road style. Upper middle class white girls still rave and their boyfriends declare, but the more knowledgeable tipplers at BA hold the line on where this beer belongs - a solid "B."
I also had one out of date - as bad as anything else that has past its prime.

My obsession with Fat Tire is more of a socio-psychological one as to the narrow demographic that proclaims this beer to be perfection in a bottle, and my attempts to get inside their heads to look for answers and clues for how to help them get into the rest of the thousands of awesome American craft beers.

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Photo of HoustonTX
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours out with a bright copper/amber color, small amount of head and decent lacing.

Smell - Is earthy, with a bit of caramel present, and toasty roast smell is strong.

Taste - Very pleasing with a toasty/biscuit tasting malts, caramel and small traces of hops also come through. Aftertaste is toasty.

Mouthfeel - Creamy and easy to go down.

Drinkability - Good, these are quite easy to take down.

Overall, a nice amber ale.

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Photo of Skidz
4.38/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After hearing many things about how this beer is brewed using the same recipe as used for Mile Rock Amber by Harbor City, I decided a side by side review was necessary. My review of Mile Rock amber can be seen here: http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/794/5940/?ba=Skidz

This is my review for Fat Tire:

Pours out crisp light gold and sits bright copper-amber in the glass with a good sized, slightly off-white head. Fades to a good skimming of foam with nice lacings around the glass.

Smells of toasty malts with some caramel presence. Earth and nutty tones blend in with full, green, leafy hops aromas. Some bits of clover dancing around the edges.

Tastes of delightfully rounded malts, bursting with toasted character. Liveley caramel, and crackery tones run up and down along with bits of hazelnut. Mild hops bitterness enters, but delivers little flavor, besides some slight, dry leafy tones. Satifying finish.

Soft, forgiving and creamy in the mouth with mild-moderate carbonation and a medium-light body.

Fantastically drinkable, soothing and pleasant in the mouth. Lots of character and no real quarrels to speak of.

In comparing Fat Tire to Mile Rock Amber, the visuals are key to the interpretation. Held up side by side, both sit fairly equal in color and depth, but MR definately has some chill haze going on. Head retention is very similar, though I'd say MR has a bit of an edge.

After that, these beers are nothing alike. While they may have started off using the same, or nearly identical recipes, the yeast divides these two beers significantly. Earthy, nutty tones dominate in FT, while fruity flavors hit home in MR.

Which is better? I'd put my money on FT, hands down. Best looks, nose, taste, body, drinkability all-around. Not to say MR doesn't hold a thumb to it, it's just not as good as FT.

So to everyone buying Mile Rock Amber here in WI, thinking your getting the same thing as Fat Tire, or close to it, you are not.

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Photo of beveragecaptain
3.78/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle. New Belgium Fat Tire pours out a clear, light brown color topped with a couple inches of foam. The aroma is biscuit malt and a hint of fruitiness. Nutty, biscuit malt flavor. A bit of cocoa flavor too. The finish is mildly hoppy. Light to medium mouthfeel. The drinkability is good. I could certainly drink several of these at a time were it not for the $3/bottle pricetag in Wisconsin. Overall, this is a pretty good beer. It's not overly complex, but it's drinkable and tasty.

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Fat Tire Belgian Style Ale from New Belgium Brewing
Beer rating: 3.6 out of 5 with 9,018 ratings